For the second consecutive year, Finch & Beak conducted a comprehensive benchmark study focusing on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices within the chemical distribution industry. The largest 34 European chemical distribution companies have been selected based on sales generated - above 335 mil USD. The research shows that the industry’s maturity on sustainability reporting is inadequate, even though some improvements have been made for instance in Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions reporting.
At the beginning of the session, Josephin shared key elements of the new methodology used for assessing chemical distribution’s ESG status, such as the introduction of the topic of biodiversity. This assessment employed the Portfolio Sustainability Assessment, consisting of two critical dimensions, assessed on publicly available data:
After the explanation of the research methodology conducted and the elements assessed, three main challenges for chemical distribution industry were explained:
Moreover, the study reveals that only 26% of the companies report on all the assessed elements, such as Supply Chain Management, Scope 1-3 emissions and Biodiversity and 44% of the companies have a sustainability strategy in place, translated in a commitment, framework or clear agenda. A clear sign that companies often make statements on ESG strategy but the reporting and the transparency of the data is still lacking.
In the second part of the webinar, Maria Almenar, Group SHEQ & Sustainability Director at Azelis, explained and brought some successful examples of ESG strategy from her company, which ranks as number one in Finch & Beak’s chemical distribution benchmark study for the second year in a row.
Maria explained that Azelis started its ESG journey in 2015 with very simple steps and then in 2021 they launched a successful and more ambitious sustainability strategy, called Action 2025. At first, Azelis created the CSR & Sustainability Steering Committee and then developed a CSR program. Moreover, the company leveraged the importance of the materiality assessment by using it as a starting point for enhancing the company’s sustainability strategy and to engage with stakeholders.
As part of its “Action 2025”, Azelis’s ESG strategy is based on 4 pillars: People, Products and innovation, Governance, and Environment. In addition, Azelis is currently working to develop the company’s first double materiality assessment.
In addition to the explanation of the KPIs to 2025 for Azelis’s sustainability strategy, Maria also explained the 4 steps her company is taking to be ready for the upcoming regulations.
To conclude, the majority of chemical distribution companies are at the very start of the ESG journey, and as explained from both Josephin and Maria, double materiality assessment can be a driving force for leveraging sustainability strategy. In the end of the webinar, Finch & Beak shared four acceleration tips that allow chemical distributors to speed up their ESG journey. In the download section of this article, you can find the acceleration tips.
Visit our Escape Room Experience as a fun and engaging way to explore more data points coming from the research. It's an opportunity to raise awareness within your company, learn ESG strengths and weaknesses across the industry, as well as identify best practices to improve.
If you are looking for hands-on support to accelerate your company’s sustainability journey, contact Johana Schlotter at firstname.lastname@example.org or +31 6 28 02 18 80 to discuss how Finch & Beak can assist you.